Basketball: Minnows on a hiding

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The Independent Online
Upsets will be as thin on the ground as high-scoring Englishmen this weekend when Budweiser League clubs bring to bear the full weight of their American-stacked line-ups in the first round of the Classic Cola National Cup.

Only the top three clubs from last season's First Division - Ware Rebels, Coventry Crusaders and Cardiff Phoenix - have been permitted a tilt at the Budweiser heavyweights who are allowed to use up to five Americans in their line-ups, compared with two per team in the First Division.

Sheffield Sharks visit Coventry, whose player-coach, Dip Donaldson, wishes he could use his 7ft 1in older brother James, an NBA veteran. As well as facing Sheffield's American quartet of Todd Cauthorn, Chris Finch, Voise Winters and Deon Hanes, the Crusaders will also have to deal with the 6ft 8in Roger Huggins.

The League's top two clubs, Leopards and Chester Jets, meet in the tie of the round. Chester's 94-90 overtime league defeat against Leopards last month was their only loss in six games.

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